Woodside, Queens (WABC) — An off-duty Queens police officer was shot in the leg Wednesday afternoon and is being investigated for possible road rage.
The officer was shot at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and 70th Street just before 1 p.m.
Police say it all happened when the 26-year-old officer was trying to get around a white minivan that was blocking the Queens Road service road.
He exchanged notes with the driver of the minivan, Edwin Rivera, and was eventually able to pull through. But the two cars meet again.
Edwin’s brother, Sean Rivera, ran over and smashed the rear window of the off-duty officer’s Kia Soul, police said.
The off-duty officer pointed a gun at two men next to his personal car, drew his military-style weapon and called 911. The officer identified himself as a police officer and told the passenger he was under arrest, but the passenger refused, officials said.
“He re-folded his weapon and tried to control the object with his hands,” said NYPD Commissioner Jeffrey Maddrey.
A scuffle ensued, with the brothers trying to grab the off-duty officer’s military-style weapon, resulting in all three falling to the ground, authorities said.
The military-style weapon fired twice, police said.
Cellphone video obtained by Eyewitness News shows the moment the shots were fired.
The officer was shot in the left thigh. One of the brothers was hit in the hand and another was injured, believed to have been caused when he broke the glass.
Neighbors who saw the video or witnessed it unfold described the behavior of the brothers, one in particular, as unnecessarily aggressive.
Neighbor Ronald Stevens said: “He was yelling at people, you undercover cop this and that, and I said, ‘Dude, this is not your trouble’ and within seconds, Queens Every policeman is here.”
The officer was taken to Elmhurst Hospital and is said to be in stable condition. Both brothers have been detained and charges are pending.
The off-duty officer has been on the job since 2018. He was assigned to the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn.
The PBA issued a statement saying the officer is on the verge of recovery and that “this incident highlights the dangerous environment on our streets.”
“We are thankful that our brother is recovering, but this incident highlights the dangerous conditions on our streets, not only for police officers but for all New Yorkers,” said PBA President Patrick Hendry. Two habitual criminals didn’t hesitate to attack a police officer and try to take his gun. What will happen if our dysfunctional justice system spits them back into the streets again?”
Detectives are still trying to figure out who ultimately took control of the weapon, but cellphone video will be very useful evidence.
ALSO READ | Questions about aging NYC infrastructure after water main burst reveal troubling answers
* more queens news
* Send us a news alert
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News